First Grade Debut
Looking back at my first grade debut I have nothing to complain about and areas to improve on. That’s probably the ideal start as I already have in my mind things I want to work on this week. The team traveled to a very picturesque Port Kembla oval to take on last years lowest ranked team. I was impressed with the surroundings as I could see the ocean from the pitch. I don’t have much history but I believe both clubs are in rebuilding stages and would like to think both clubs should have come back pretty satisfied that things are improving.
We batted first and put up 5-263 in 50 overs; courtesy of a solid opening partnership, a slightly chancy but entertaining middle order and some swing and miss in the end by yours truly. Captain Matt top scored with 68, Steve (I think that’s his name) scored the brisk and flamboyant 63 and finally Chris and myself bashed about 25 in the last 3 to finish with a good score.
Coming in with only a few overs left doesn’t give you much of a chance to settle in so I had a go. I struggled initially with the timing of a grass wicket, the ball never seemed to reach me and I felt pretty stupid at times with what were probably some awful looking swishes. Two shots felt good; one a pull over midwicket into the wind for a couple and the other a back foot punch over mid off for four. It had American baseball written all over it but it came off the middle and was the shot I intended.
In the field I was pretty eager to find my groove after not playing for over a year (again). Thank god for training twice a week because I’m starting to feel fit again. My arm felt good and I was happy with my speed in the field. My throws to the keeper were good and generally fielding had no mistakes. The photo above was taken from the game and I’m happy with my form.
I took a catch but also spilled a chance on the boundary that ended up going for six. I had apprehension because I was so close to the fence but I have no excuses because I got my hands to the ball. That was the biggest disappointment of my day, I pride myself on taking anything hit my way. An area needing improvement.
The game had a bit of a farcical finish as we left the field after 47 overs with everyone believing the allotment of 49 had been bowled (Port Kembla had been fined an over for slow over rate). I had my shirt off when the umpire told us we had to take the field again. At the time Port Kembla were 7-200 and one of their bats was notout on 82*. This gave him a chance to go for the hundred and gave us a chance to bowl them out. It also gave me a chance to debut with the ball.
Captain Matty prized out the century wisher with a gripping leg break that rattled off and then tossed the ball to me to bowl the final over. My first in first grade. My first over in Australia in a long time.
It was a very bemusing debut as I tried to land the ball on a length and avoid bowling a wide (as suggested by whoever was at mid on). The batsman immediately tried to go over the top and skied it to mid on and gave me a wicket with my first ball! I followed that up with a bit of a swinging yorker that trapped the next guy in front, the umpire upholding our pretty excited appeal. He had not given an LBW all day and has a reputation for remaining steadfast with LBW decisions. I’m actually cool with that as we had an LBW giving problem in Colorado. But I found favour with him and wrapped up my debut game by taking 2 wickets with the 2 balls I bowled. Not a bad start ay?
Blog photo by Rob Sheeley